[February was named after the Latin term februum, meaning purification. Februa, or Februatio, was the Roman festival of ritual purification based on washing or cleaning, held on February 15 (full moon) in the old lunar Roman calendar. From purification rituals throughout history to the importance of pure substances in science and technology, from the issues surrounding ecosystem purity to the growing interest in pure foods, the concept of purity in its various forms is the focus of Purity Month on 13.7 Billion Years. Have a suggestion? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Purebred animals are always in high demand, none more so perhaps than dogs. But this is one instance where purity is bad thing.
"The main problem with purebreds stems from the simple fact that to create a purebred puppy you need two dogs from the exact same gene pool," according to PetMD.com. "This gene pool is already limited, but many breeders will use dogs from the same family gene pool to create more dogs (inbreeding). Dog clubs often require that their dogs be bred within the same club, which again ends up severely limiting the gene pool variety. As many of these gene pools are limited or closed, the risk of genetic defects rises significantly with each successive coupling."
"Though the dogs who compete at Westminster [Kennel Club Dog Show] are beautiful and most are likely healthy, the rise of such spectacles—and judging measures that in some cases emphasize appearance over welfare—has been blamed for a host of genetic health problems facing scores of breeds today," writes Carrie Allan in an article entitled "The Purebred Paradox" in the magazine All Animals, published by the Humane Society of the United States.
"Brachycephalic (or short-faced) breeds like bulldogs and pugs suffer from breathing problems; Great Danes and other large dogs from joint problems; long dogs like dachshunds and basset hounds from back problems; wrinkly-faced dogs like boxers and shar-peis from skin and eye problems. And due to prolific production to meet public demand, the most coveted dogs tend to have the most genetic disorders; Labrador retrievers, who’ve topped the AKC’s popularity list for 19 years, are prone to around 50 inherited conditions."
Also, social aggression is more common in purebreds than in mixed breeds, according to the ASPCA.
Thinking about becoming a dog guardian? If you stay away from puppies sold at pet stores, you won't be supporting cruel puppy mills. Go to your municipal dog pound or shelter. Save a mixed-breed (i.e., a mutt) from death row. Society has placed a greater value on purebreds than mixed breeds. In fact, ethically and medically speaking, the reverse should be the case.
- Save the Great Bear Rainforest and First Nation rights, say NO to Enbridge's Northern Gateway Pipeline (Petition Online Canada)
- Say NO to cruel "horse diving" in Atlantic City (Change.org)
- Say NO to the senseless killing of wolves in Idaho (Defenders of Wildlife)
- Say NO to efforts to drill for oil and gas in the Arctic under the ruse of funding the Transportation Bill (Defenders of Wildlife)
- Say NO to the rhino horn trade (Change.org)
- Say NO to Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, which threatens the boreal forest in British Columbia (Nature Canada)
- Follow 13.7 Billion Years on Twitter
- Instead of This, Try This: Starting the new year with change
- Victory Month: Celebrating positive change through grassroots action
- Of Rice and Men: Cooking the world's most important grain for human nutrition
- 21 Days, 21 Reasons, 21 Recipes, 21 Quotes: Eating plants, loving animals
- Rich Dog, Poor Dog: Considering man's best friend
- Physicists & Priests: Looking at the relationship of science and religion
- Deep Space: Staring at the stars
- Gray Matters: Thinking about thinking
- Flower Power: Stopping to smell the angiosperms
- Animal Cruelty: Looking at the devil within
- Chemical Month: Exploring the vast laboratory of our daily lives
- Africa Month: Visiting the world's second-largest continent
- Reports from 2050: Imagining the future